Gringo Star have undergone a transformation of sorts since their second album Count Yer Lucky Stars in 2011. A large part of the driving force of the band in Pete DeLorenzo left early in the album formative stages which takes out any aspect or ideas he might have brought to the process, but at the same time the shift from a quartet to a trio can focus a group and allow them to reflect on what they’ve done and either refine or alter it and in many ways they’ve been able to do that as a duo with the several different drummers occupying the kit. In many ways they’ve refined and altered their sound at the same time. The recording approach has been stripped down to a DIY way of doing things. They’ve scrapped the producer, engineers, even the recording studio and splashed out on a high end microphone and went down to a basement to work on Floating Out To See. They’ve talked about how they’ve been able to record everything at their own leisure and have been able to experiment a lot more as a result. The third album is perhaps a better time than any to so but it doesn’t always mean it works.
‘Going Way Out’ is a swooning 50’s serenade being blasted through a psychedelic landscape. The guitars cascade-like rise and fall which is followed by the traditional bass-line is glossed over by the light whirring of the organs and the spiralling synth sounds. These all rotate well but they utilise their vocals to full effect too. The spaced out and echoed backing vocals fall into a sort of dreamscape feel when used in conjunction with the instrumentals. On top of that, they’ve echoed and spaced out the overall sound to completely change the tone of the song in spite of the traditional methodology they’ve used on the practical side of the music. ‘Find A Love’ starts off with the off key and high pitched riff before throwing itself into a full on neo-psychedelic experience with the fuzzy and distorted guitars making that large and relentless wave of sound. With that are the faded out and dreamy vocals that contrast with base sound of the guitars but are echoed and faded out enough to fall neatly back into the instrumentals.
‘In The Heat’ is a fuzzed and faded out psychedelic experience with no vocals needed. The slow groove from the bass and spread outwards and is expanded by distorted and reverberating guitar riffs and the various synths and effects the swirl and spiral of it all. As the albums opening track it gives you a great feel for the album while perhaps not giving you the full picture. ‘Look For More’ is introduced as some Western soundtrack filtered through the fuzz and the great expanding sound before hitting a great hook with the churning and distorted riff as it goes up a chord. The songs progression is slick and fluid and a little nostalgic too. That’s what Gringo Star have done throughout Floating Out To See and the odd and interesting combinations of sounds are highly effective and the little bit of innovation and imagination of Peter and Nick Furgiuele has paid off, as well as their recording method and approaches with which the experimentation that they gained from it had paid off greatly for them. They have developed and flourished as a group in spite of their losses and are testament of what can be done if you take a risk or simply use your imagination.
Gringo Star – Floating Out To See = 8/10
Images from consequenceofsound.net